Bioparticle Manipulation using Acoustophoresis and Inertial Microfluidics

Abstract: Despite the many promising advances made in microfluidics, sample preparation remains the single largest challenge and bottleneck in the field of miniaturised diagnostics. This thesis is focused on the development of sample preparation methods using active and passive particle manipulation techniques for point of care diagnostic applications. The active technique is based on acoustophoresis (acoustic manipulation) while the passive method is based on inertial microfluidics (hydrodynamic manipulation). In paper I, acoustic capillary-based cavity resonator was used to study aggregation of silica and polystyrene particles. We found that silica particles show faster aggregation time (5.5 times) and larger average area of aggregates (3.4 times) in comparison to polystyrene particles under the same actuation procedure. The silica particles were then used for acoustic based bacteria up-concentration. In paper II, a microfluidic-based microbubbles activated acoustic cell sorting technique was developed for affinity based cell separation. As a proof of principle, separation of cancer cell line in a suspension with better than 75% efficiency is demonstrated. For the passive sample preparation, inertial and elasto-inertial microfluidic approach that uses geometry-induced hydrodynamic forces for continuous size-based sorting of particles in a flow-through fashion were studied and applied for blood processing (paper III-V). In paper III, a simple ushaped curved channel was used for inertial microfluidics based enrichment of white blood cells from diluted whole blood. A filtration efficiency of 78% was achieved at a flow rate of 2.2 ml/min. In paper IV, elasto-inertial microfluidics where viscoelastic flow enables size-based migration of cells into a non- Newtonian solution, was used to continuously separate bacteria from unprocessed whole blood for sepsis diagnostics. Bacteria were continuously separated at an efficiency of 76% from undiluted whole blood sample. Finally, in paper V, the inertial and elasto-inertial techniques were combined with a detection platform to demonstrate an integrated miniaturized flow cytometer. The all-optical-fiber technology based system allows for simultaneous measurements of fluorescent and scattering data at 2500 particles/s. The use of inertial and acoustic techniques for sample preparation and development of an integrated detection platform may allow for further development and realization of point of care testing (POCT) systems.